Saturday, June 30, 2012

Louise Harrell Remembers the Good Old Days

From Special Memories: A Collection of Stories by Chowan County Extension Homemakers

Those Were the Days by Louise Harrell

As I sit here and reminisce, I think of all the changes that have taken place in my time. Life was a lot simpler. People showed more concern for one another. People just trusted each other. We didn’t even lock our doors at night or when we went off.

I picked cotton to buy my wedding dress. I was paid one cent a pound. I couldn’t pick over 100 pounds a day. My dress cost less than $5. [Mrs. Harrell was married in 1941.]

When we got married we didn’t have electric lights, no running water, no indoor toilet, no TV, just a battery radio. We had a good time playing games with the children. It was a time when the doctor made house calls. I had six children and four of them were born at home. The last two was born at the hospital. The cost was around $50.

In the winter we had hog killings, wood cuttings and got together and cooked candy and pulled taffy. We invited the neighbors to help. In the spring we ladies got together and shelled peanuts so our husbands could plant them.

Nobody around had tractors. They just farmed with mules. Some people say they were “the good old days,” some say they weren’t. But I am glad that I lived in those times. It makes me appreciate what I have now.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Alice Sawyer, Chowan County, Remembers When

From Special Memories: A Collection of Stories by Chowan County Extension Homemakers

I Remember When by Alice Sawyer

I remember when I learned to cook an egg. The only problem I had was it would not come off that stove. It was stuck tight to that old wood stove. I didn’t grease the stove or use a frying pan. Of course, I was only four years old.

I remember when I used to go to my grandma’s house. She didn’t have a bathroom and going tout to that old toilet was quite an ordeal. Sitting over that old hole, I imagined all kinds of things that might bite. Of course the corn cobs and Sears catalog made you soon forget about crawly things.

The little house with the half moon was the place of solitude, quiet and deep wandering imagination.

Some tried their first cigarette in the outhouse but got caught when the moon began to smoke.

I remember driving with Mama and Daddy on nine-foot roads to go to Winfall to visit relatives and getting down in the floor because I was afraid of a certain church. I grew out of that, fortunately, but learned my Mama was a member there when she was a girl.

I remember when my husband was “chirping,” imitating a bird, and two ladies who were shopping in the same store ran their carts head into each other. They both were looking for the bird which they thought was near the bird seed. It was really funny to see all those two liter bottles which had fallen from their carts spinning aimlessly and pop squirting everywhere and they still searching for the bird.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

North Carolina Farmer's Report From June 1956

From the “Around the State” column in the June 1956 issue of North Carolina’s Extension Farm-News

Woodrow Davis of Winston-Salem, Route 2, is not one to let “nature take its course” with his tobacco bed. Forsyth County Assistant Agent Walter L. Hobbs Jr. says that Davis rigged up a way of irrigating his seed beds. When the plants need water, he starts the pump and gets plenty of water evenly distributed on the plants. As a result, Davis was ready to transplant tobacco early in May.

Many folks are presented with the problem where to live when they tear down an old house and plan to build their new one on the same spot. Mr. and Mrs. Otis Hall of the Upper Laurel community, Madison County, had this problem last year. But Assistant County Agent Robert W. Miller says the Halls were quick to spot an answer. They merely moved into their burley tobacco barn while the new house was being completed.

Mrs. Earl Weaver says that you can ration the feed to your layers. But they’ll ration their eggs, too. Polk County Assistant Agent Robert D. Flake says that Mrs. Weaver was feeding only enough mash to 100 hens to last them about three hours and was getting 40 per cent production. “But when we started keeping mash and grain in front of them all the time, they jumped to 70 per cent production,” she exclaims.

Like the farsighted ant in the fable of the ant and the grasshopper, Tate Soles remembers last winter—a winter with poor hay and no silage. Those memories are helping him plan for winter feeding now. Columbus County Assistant Agent Victor H. Lytton says that Soles cut seven acres of oats for silage and bailed five more acres of oats. Then, noticing that his cows couldn’t keep up with the Ladino-fescue pastures, he clipped the pastures and bailed the grass. He says this should provide some mighty tasty chow for his cows next winter.

It’s a good trick, and Don Rogers, Asheville, Route 4, did it. The 4-H’er was allotted 100 pullets by the Pullet Chain and 10 weeks later still had 101. John F. Welter, assistant farm agent, explains that Don actually received two extra chicks to make up for any that might die en route to his farm. It’s still a remarkable record to lose only one chick out of 102, Welter declares.

Coy Compton of Dunn’s Rock community doesn’t believe in letting things go to waste. Transylvania County Assistant Agent W.M. Garmon says that when the acorns begin to fall, Compton buys shoats and turns them on the acorns. After the acorns are gone, it isn’t much of a job feeding the pigs the rest of the way, Garmon reports.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Isham Phillips Farm, Johnston County, 1948

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, June 10, 1948

Between Micro and Kenly in Johnston County and about two miles off of Highway 301 is the Glendale neighborhood. It is a section of small but fertile farms; and tobacco is the principal cash crop.

In the heart of this Glendale community is the little 43-acre farm belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Isham Phillips. They have some 14 acres of open, cleared land on the place and they, too, grow tobacco with corn and some other small crops. At the edge of their back yard is a large poultry laying house in which they formerly kept 300 nice laying hens but instead of hens, this building now houses one of the most unique farm shops that you ever saw. It is equipped with homemade mechanical contrivances of all kinds and from that reconverted poultry house will flow this year about 700 implements to apply side applications of nitrate of soda and fertilizer to the crops of that community.

It all began about three years ago when Mr. Phillips and a cousin, Raymond Radford, began work on an implement to put out side applications of fertilizer at the same time that they used their two-row riding cultivators around their tobacco crops.

They devised a machine, but it wouldn’t work just as they thought it should. The cousin abandoned the idea, or at least he would not push it further, so Mr. Phillips paid him cash for his part of the idea and then went to work to improve the machine. He had not equipment or tools except as he says, “such as I need around here to build what I want.”

But he used the tools he had and he built a machine that works. It was completed about this time of the year in 1944. He used it all of that year to make side applications. There was no hand labor to do this kind of work, and so the neighbors began to watch his operations. Last spring, they demanded that he make machines for their use. He told them that he would be glad to do so if he could get the steel. At any rate, he finally employed a man to help him, converted the poultry house into a work shop, and made 175 of the implements for his neighbors.

This spring he has made 500 up until this time, and he has orders on hand that will run the number to over 700 before the season is over. Mr. Phillips has had this idea patented and says the only trouble he is having now is getting enough steel for his operations.

I went to see his machine one afternoon last week. He showed me all through his little shop, and with his brother-in-law, with whom he farms, hitched up a mule and demonstrated how the machine is used with the one-horse plow. I should add that Mr. Phillips builds two types. One is fitted for the two-horse cultivator and the other is for a one-horse plow. Both kinds are sturdy, hand-built affairs that will last until the final bit of steel wears away. The machine consists of a hopper of sheet metal with an ingenious arrangement at the bottom through which the fertilizer flows as it is knocked by a steel arm hitting the spokes of the cultivator wheel. This is adjustable so that the amount of fertilizer desired may be distributed. A flexible metal hose 24 inches long puts the fertilizer just where it is needed at the side of the plant roots and this fertilizer is then mixed with the soil and covered with the cultivator plows.

The design used with the one-mule plow is the same as that for the cultivator except that the distributor flow is governed by a pronged wheel which moves along in contact with the ground as the plow moves forward. Mr. Phillips had about 10 complete machines in his plant at the time of my visit last week. He has electrical current out there and this power, together with a gasoline engine, furnishes the power he uses in his little shop. The steel is cut, holes are punched, welding done, and the sheet steel molded all by hand-made implements.

It is all good, honest hard work and the 10 machines in the shop were eight less than he had orders for at the time of my visit. Mr. Phillips said the only trouble with building the machines was that people waited until they were ready to apply their fertilizer before asking him to build one. If they would only let him know in advance so he could build them during the summer or winter ahead of time, he would not have to work night and day at this season of the year.

“I am afraid to build too many ahead of time, however, because I don’t have the money to finance them over a long period, and I couldn’t afford to build a number of the distributors and not move them out right away,” he said.

This farmer is 35 years old; was reared about eight miles from where he now lives; and has worked hard all of his life. The machine was designed and built out of his own need and it is also serving his neighbors. As I left his farm to come back to Raleigh, I saw a neighbor down near the river, preparing to spray some Irish potatoes. So I stopped and as we carried on our conversation, I asked him about his neighbor Phillips and his machine.

“Well,” said this man, a Mr. Weaver, “I paid him $22.50 for one of them and I wouldn’t take $100 in cash for it right now. In fact, I wouldn’t sell it if I couldn’t get another one.”

That seems to be the general verdict of the neighbors. The machine is a labor saving implement for the farmers of that section. And, once again, a better mouse trap has been built and the people are making a beaten pathway to the door of an enterprising neighbor.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Square Dance Craze Sweeping Cleveland County, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 13, 1949

The young farm folks of the county have been having a great time during the late winter and early spring at supervised recreational meetings. Here they have learned to do folk dances and to hold square dances. H.W. Dameron, assistant farm agent, says the square dance craze is really sweeping Cleveland County.

About 150 young folks attended the leadership schools so they might teach the various dances in their neighborhoods. They use such tunes as the Grand March, Right Hands Around, Ocean Wave, Chase That Rabbit, Odd Couple Around and Take a Peep, Virginia Reel and Stoop.

The recreational meetings have been held by the local 4-H Clubs on Tuesday and Friday nights and have proven to be one of the most popular things the young folks have sponsored. Mr. Dameron says one has only to mention that a recreational program is to be held and a crowd will be there.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rowan Farmers Are Tops, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 27, 1949

Rowan is generally recognized as one of the best farming sections of North Carolina. The men who own the land in that county believe in grain, clover, livestock and machinery.

Probably Rowan is more completely mechanized than any other county in the state. There are fine herds of purebred beef cattle, dairy cows, and swine. Poultry is found on almost every farm and there is always plenty of home-grown feed of the highest quality. Rowan has been noted over the years for its Guernsey cattle, but recently its citizens were surprised to learn that the county also contained a top-flight Ayshire herd. This herd is owned by R.W. Edminson of Mt. Ulla. Mr. Edminson has about 75 head of registered Ayshires and is president of the North Carolina Ayshire Breeders Association. P.H. Satterwhite, county farm agent, says that Mr. Edminson recently had his milking herd of 40 cows classified by an official of the association. All the other breeders in the county were invited to witness the grading of the cows.

The Salisbury Kiwanis Club recently bought two registered Guernsey heifers to add to the Rowan Calf Club chain. The two animals were selected from G.A.A. Sparger’s herd and were awarded to Derrell Orbison, Mooresville, Route 3, and Fred Foster, Cleveland, Route 1. Each of the boys will return the first good heifer, at the age of four months, to be given to some other boy or girl. In addition, each boy or girl getting one of these calves under the endless chain plan agrees to provide plenty of food and pasture, and to exhibit the calf at the Annual Junior Dairy Calf Show.

I could inform Governor Kerr Scott very definitely about some of the fine work being done by the civic clubs of North Carolina. The clubs are working with both young people and adults in promoting calf clubs, swine clubs, corn production, sweet potato production, cotton growing, poultry flocks and other activities.

The people of Rowan County are building grade “A” dairy barns and are organizing their dairy work on a sounder basis since the recent slump in the price of grade “C” milk. Eight such barns were built in the county during the late winter and five more were added in April. This makes about 20 to be constructed so far this year. County Agent P.H. Satterwhite says that Rowan farmers are tired of milking for charity and will go into grade “A” production or quit. The most popular types of barns are the six, eight, and 12 stanchion outfits made of concrete blocks. Those who have these barns say they pay in spite of the decreased price for milk. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Two Turkey Producers Have Some Unusual Problems in Gaston County, 1946

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 26, 1949

Carl Petty of Bowling Green, one of Gaston County’s successful turkey growers, doesn’t think much of springtime cyclones and hail storms. The other evening, just before supper, Mr. Petty was doing some work out next to his barn. He heard the wind growling and looked up in time to see a funnel-shaped cloud coming towards his farm.
“I didn’t pay much attention to it,” Carl said, “because we had never had a cyclone to hit our farm. I went on into the house and as I did, I heard the clatter of boards over towards my brother’s farm not so far away. I told my wife that maybe he had had some damage from the wind.”

In a few minutes, however, a neighbor came to the Petty home to use the telephone. He casually asked Mr. Petty where his new brooder house was. That stopped the supper right there. The family left the table, rushed out in the yard, and found the new brooder house about 30 feet from where it should be. It was turned over on its top and the pines around it had scars on them up to about 40 feet from the ground. Evidently, the house had been blown along against those pines before coming to its final resting place. The old brooder house, standing about 20 feet from the other one, was not touched. And the new wire racks for the new house had not been hurt in any way.

However, Mr. Petty had to tear his brooder house apart and rebuild it. He had to go to double expense, therefore, in getting the house ready for his turkey poults this season. The house, as finally completed, is 18 feet wide by 100 feet long. It is equipped with a three-foot service alley in the rear and has a good roof, a wire floor, with wire and building paper at the sides. Mr. Petty will sheath in the sides with timber after he sells a crop or two of fat turkeys. He believes in making the birds pay their own way, however. The new house is equipped with a comfortable sun porch all along the front. Mr. Petty says, so far as he knows, his cyclone was entirely a private affair. It did no other damage in the whole community. The boards which he thought were rattling on his brother’s farm were actually those form his own brooder house. “I was really surprised,” he said.

Lee Herrick, Extension turkey specialist, says that Gaston County produced 22,000 fat turkeys, largely for the local trade, last year. This was a 100 percent increase over 1948, and it appears that the growers will jump their production again 25 percent this year over last. In other words, Gaston will market about 27,000 fat turkeys this fall. The flocks range in size from 2,000 to 4,000 birds per farm and, with but one exception, all of these turkeys are being grown by men who started 10 or 15 years ago and have gradually increased the size of their flocks as they learned more about the business.

The one exception is Maurice Youngman of Gastonia, Route 1, out on the York Road. He grew 1,200 birds last year for the first time and has about 3,000 started this year. Mr. Youngman goes over to see Carl Petty and F.T. Dellinger, veteran turkey growers, frequently so as to learn from their experiences.

Mr. Youngman started his turkey business in an old dairy barn on the farm of his father-in-law. He grazed the turkeys all summer on a field of alfalfa he had planted for that purpose. He has moved to his own farm this year and has converted some old out houses into turkey brooder houses until he can get on his feet. Disaster struck one windy night not long ago when one of these old houses, warmed with a kerosene-burning brooder caught fire and burned 800 poults along with all of the equipment in the house. He has built a new house 22 feet wide by 100 feet long and keeps the poults warm and comfortable with bottled gas. He says he can sleep better now. He plans to grow a few late turkeys to make up for the loss of the first 800 started.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rowan County Women Build Community Club House, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, June 27, 1949

One thing hindering the full development of rural community life in North Carolina is the general lack of a community gathering place. Especially is this true since so many of the smaller schools have been consolidated into one large, centrally located school. The folks who live out in the small communities say that this arrangement has left them without adequate meeting places, and with no hall large enough for recreation and other neighborhood activities. Such a situation hampers the development of a community and tends to split it up.

The members of the Lingle-Central-Salem Home Demonstration Club in Rowan County know this is true. When they organized these three communities into one club, the made plans right away to build a clubhouse or a community home. Attendance at the regular meetings of the club has been so great that it is hard to find homes large enough to accommodate all the members. The women realized the need of a playground for the children and a hall where they can have dinners or stage plays, square dances and recreational activities for the community.

Under the direction of Mrs. J.C. Ludwig, club president, the members are making plans for a community house. Mrs. Ludwig is being assisted by Mrs. J.L. Goodnight, vice president; Mrs. John Bost,secretary; and Mrs. William Goodnight, treasurer. Mrs. Ludwig says the husbands also are interested and are helping to get the new building.

The building fund was actually started during the war when the club invested its funds in U.S. war savings bonds. Later the club won a $200 prize with an exhibit at the Rowan County Fair. Money also has been raised for the fund by arranging dinners for various civic groups.

Recently, the club purchased two adjoining lots owned by husbands of club members, at a reasonable price. The lots have a combined frontage of 100 feet on the main highway, and they extend far enough back to afford space for a baseball diamond to be built in the rear of the clubhouse.

When completed, the new clubhouse will have an assembly room with an open fire place, a modern kitchen, and dining room facilities, according to Miss Betty Daniels, home demonstration agent for Rowan County.

Each club member is being given an opportunity to raise some of the money, and various methods are being used to raise the money. Mrs. B.M. Cauble and Mrs. W.G. Yeager held a cake and pie sale, from which they netted $20. Mrs. H.T. Wood and Mrs. John Bost have made and sold one quilt for $12.50 and have two others now being quilted. Mrs. L.M. Yost and Mrs. H.O. Bonds are sponsoring a square dance at the local Hurley School, and other members will take over the task of providing and selling ice cream and cake at this dance to further enrich the treasury. Mrs. B.B. Jordan and Mrs. B. Cress Cauble plan a benefit bridge party, and another group will have charge of gathering up all the rags and paper in the community.

Miss Daniels says the members hope to begin building within a short time. They expect their husbands to do some of the carpentering once the rush of farm work is over. They also expect donations of materials from local citizens. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Around the State, June 1956

From the “Around the State” column in the June 1956 issue of North Carolina’s Extension Farm-News

To hear Jack Stafford of Elizabeth City, Route 3, tell it, you’ve got about as much chance to make money at roulette or dice as you have truck farming. Pasquotank County Assistant Agent Walden M. Hearn quotes Stafford as saying, “Why, if I ;had 200 acres of radishes this year I would have made a killing; but when you can’t give the things away my farm is full of them. Every now and then I do have a good year,” he admitted.

Looks as if they’ll never stop finding uses for Epsom salts, Henry Draughn of White Plains, Surry County, had a tobacco plant bed that was “doing poorly.” It showed a magnesium deficiency. Assistant County Agent Samuel J. Young came to the rescue with a dose of Epsom salts—for the tobacco plants, that is. After two sprayings with the Epsom salts solution, the plants were looking much better.

A sixth-grade 4-H Club boy, Bryan Hopkins of Columbia, Route 1, recently got an unexpected dividend by showing the Grand Champion steer at the Tyrrell County fat stock show. Assistant County Agent Donald E. Stegall says that young Hopkins was plenty happy over winning. But he was “plumb flabbergasted” when he received a check for $25. It was from a former owner of the steer for doing such a good job with the steer project.

R. Wilson of Mill Spring, Route 1, has found that giving his honey bees a little “elbow room” will keep down swarming. Polk County Assistant Agent Robert D. Flake says that Wilson had a hard time keeping his bees “down on the farm.” Now he says, “I learned to give my bees more room and ventilation in spring and summer. I just open up the bee entrance and add another brood chamber. I’ve learned how to keep ‘em home.”

Steer feeding is really a science these days, says Steve White, 4-H’er of Mars Hill school. Bertie County Assistant Agent Murray L. Goodwin says that Steve is convinced his calf wouldn’t have gained 2.45 pounds per day had he not used a metal feeding trough. He says he first fed the Black Angus steer from a wood trough. The steer soon went off feed. He switched back and forth from a metal tub to wood trough. Each time he fed the calf from the wood trough it went off feed. Finally he decided that the ground feed was souring in the cracks of the wooden box.

Anybody got an extra shed or barn? If so, Charlie McCorkle, Gaston County farmer, could sure use it. Assistant County Agent Thomas A. Taylor says that McCorkle is in the unusual predicament of having more hay than he knows what to do with. With only the first cutting alfalfa and his early crop of oats, rye-grass and crimson mixture, McCorkle says he has filled all three of his 60-foot upright silos and his 200-ton trench silo. He’s also bailed 5,000 bales of high quality hay.

Clyde R. Weathers Jr., native of Wendell, is a new Extension farm management specialist. A graduate of N.C. State College, Weathers taught vocational agriculture at Herring High School in Sampson County from 1951 to 1955, when he returned to state college for further study. He will begin his new duties July 1. An infantry veteran, he was discharged from the Army in 1943 as a first lieutenant. He is married to the former Miss Barbara Mabee. They have a daughter.

Donald E. Farris of Alma, Arkansas, has been appointed fruit and vegetable marketing specialist. A 1949 graduate of the University of Arkansas, Farris has been doing graduate work at N.C. State College since 1954. Before that he was an assistant county supervisor for Farmers Home Administration in Lonoke, Ark. He served with the U.S. Navy as a shop machinist from 1944 until 1946 and again from 1950 until 1952. He is married to the former Billye Wilhelm.

Guy Parsons, a native of Ripley, West Va., has been appointed an Extension dairy specialist. Parsons began his duties at State College on June 1. He had been a fieldman for Pet Milk Company for five years before joining the college staff. A graduate of West Virginia University, he received his M.S. degree in dairy production from that institute in 1948. Parsons served with the U.S. Army Medical Corps during World War II.

W.L. (Bill) Turner, State College Extension farm management specialist, was awarded a doctor’s degree in public administration from Harvard University this month. Turner, a native of Rocky Mount, has been an extension specialist since August, 1948. On July 1, he will become head of the Extension farm management department. He earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees in agricultural economics at N.C. State College.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cumberland County Home Demonstration Women Beautify Roadside, Secure Dental Work for 250 Pupils, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 20, 1949

Rural women do not always concern themselves entirely with their own comforts and conveniences. The women of the Eastover Community of Cumberland County have been giving attention to many of their local problems.

Mrs. V.J. Talley Jr., president of the Eastover Home Demonstration Club, reports that the members of that organization have two active projects under way at this time. One is to beautify a section of Highway 301 north from Fayetteville to Eastover, a distance of seven miles. Many dogwood trees have been set along this stretch of highway and the women have donated and planted their extra bulbs in spots along the way. Plans are now being made to produce benches and picnic tables for two desirable locations on this stretch of road, and the women are busy raising money for these purposes.

They also are working with Dr. J.S. Hair and Dr. Harold E. Maxwell, dentists of Fayetteville, to examine the teeth of 250 pupils attending the local Eastover school. With the help of the local Ruritan Club, the women will guarantee payment of the nominal prices charged by the two dentists for needed dental work done for these children whose parents are financially unable to spare money for such a purpose.

A few evenings ago, the women served a fried chicken supper for $1 a plate and then they put on a womanless weeding skit. An after-Easter comical hat sale was staged with the men paying up to $2.50 for each of the old hats. The women also held a bazaar at which they sold children’s clothing, ladies’ dresses, and handmade articles of various kinds. Mrs. Talley says that a nice sum was made and that the money from the bazaar and supper will be used in financing the two community projects.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Snyders Are Among Lee County Families Entering Farm Home Improvement Contest, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 20, 1949

In Lee County, Julia Alexander home agent reports that 80 farm families have entered the county-wide home and farm improvement contest staged this year by the Sanford Chamber of Commerce. One of the typical farm families to enter the contest are the Snyders—Mr. and Mrs. O.K. Snyders of Jonesboro Heights, Route 6, Sanford.

Mr. Snyder is one of Lee County’s better tobacco growers and Mrs. Snyder is president of the High 53 Home Demonstration Club. She also is an active leader in all community affairs. The interesting thing about this particular farm family is that the members work together and they plan together as a team. They do much to foster recreation in the community and allow the use of their tobacco pack house as a hall for square dancing when farm work is not so pressing. Here the young folks of the community meet for wholesome recreation and the older ones forget, for a few hours, their work and cares.

The Snyders have long needed some improvements on their home. It was built of wonderful timber, as most old farms were in the past, but it had never been painted nor properly underpinned. They had a good well with an adequate supply of pure cold water. The place where the home is located is likewise one of the most desirable spots on the farm. So Mr. and Mrs. Snyder decided that rather than build a new home, they would improve the old one. The added a large living room, a new dining room, and a new kitchen. They weather-boarded the entire structure, cut new windows where desirable, and gave the whole thing a coat or two of white paint.

Now they have a new home. A porch was added, new furniture was purchased, draperies were placed at the windows, venetian blinds were put up and rugs secured for the floors. A new curb and top were put on the well and, in all, the Snyders estimate that they have spent $2,700 in improving the place. The kitchen has a new electrical stove and there are plenty of convenient cabinets and storage closets. As yet, the home does not have running water but Mrs. Snyder says that is coming next, along with much improvement in the yard this fall.

The old home would never be recognized in the new place which the Snyders enjoy today. It took a lot of hard work and much money earned by long days in the fields, but the results justify the effort.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Mrs. Van Stroud is a Leader in Hollis Community, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 20, 1949

In the Hollis community of Rutherford County, the neighbors all agree that Mrs. Van Stroud is a real community leader. They are having the road paved out there largely because of Mrs. Stroud’s efforts, and they are building a new Baptist church at Hollis, largely because she is on the building committee. At the same time, Mrs. Stroud has not neglected her own home while trying to help build this little rural community. The Strouds have just finished building a new seven-room home, and they are known as an enterprising and successful farm family. They have two sons, Evans, 19, and Billy, six.

For years, the Strouds have been living in a small four-room house, badly in need of repair and modernization. The house was located on a bank along a narrow dirt road that connected the two main highways. On a part of this newly-purchased land, they built their new farm home. It is just about complete now and is of the ranch type, with seven rooms, a bath, shower, sewing room, a small den or office, and an everyday dressing room in which the men can change from their overalls as they come in from the fields. Mr. and Mrs. Stroud, with help of the older boy, Evans, have done about all of the work themselves, including the felling of the trees and the sawing and finishing of the lumber.

Mrs. Stroud has one of those step-saving, U-shaped kitchens and the floors are finished in the natural color of the wood. She handed the planks to her husband as he floored each of the rooms, and she did most of the interior painting. Then she made the curtains and draperies, and painted the screens as Mr. Stroud hung them.

Mrs. Stroud makes practically all of her own clothing as well as the work shirts, sport shirts, and pajamas used by her family. The Strouds produce and cure their own pork and beef for the table, and they have just set a small orchard around the new home. The family attends the Baptist Church in Hollis, where Mrs. Stroud teaches in the Sunday school. She is a member of the WMU, and she is now on the church building committee with one other woman and three men. She was president of the PTA in the local school last session and is active as a home demonstration club member.

When the community decided that something had to be done about the local road, Mrs. Stroud had about 35 leading persons in the community to meet in her home with the district highway commissioner. She served dinner and when the meal was over, they got down to business about paving that road. That was last October. Today, paving the road has just about been completed. When the country women of the neighborhood when on a tour of farm homes last fall to study new and modern improvements, 89 of them visited her home to see what she and her family had accomplished.

Miss Sedberry says that Mrs. Stroud has missed few meetings of the Hollis home demonstration club in the last five years. The farm woman believes that this club is one of the most helpful women’s organizations in Rutherford County.

“I learn something valuable every time I go,” she said. “The club has helped the community because we were almost a bunch of strangers around here. Now we are more like a bunch of sisters. We used to wave ‘Hello’ to one another and go on. Now we stop and chat when we meet, and we find out new things. Our work in the club has almost eliminated gossiping because we have so many more important things to discuss. We have replaced this gossip with something worthwhile, and we find pleasure in studying how to have better homes.”

Monday, June 11, 2012

On North Carolina Farms, June 4, 1945

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Wilmington Morning Star, June 4, 1945

Except for cotton the season has been excellent for farming in North Carolina this spring and people have been working harder than I have ever seen them before. During the past two week, I have traveled over much of the state and everywhere, men and women along with the young folks are in the fields, out in the lots, or in the gardens and truck fields hard at work attempting to get their crops started or to harvest and sell those which are ready for the market.

Throughout eastern Carolina, tobacco is growing well and corn, while not up to a perfect stand, is dark green and pushing along at a splendid rate. One can go along the road in one county and see the owners resetting tobacco in one field, chopping it in another, and plowing in a third. There is not so much cotton as last year and it is growing slowly. Some people have replanted as many as three times in the effort to get a stand. The cool weather has retarded the crop and some of it is getting grassy because of the frequent showers.

But I don’t believe I have ever seen so many good farm gardens. Not only does one see these gardens around the farmstead where all kinds of early vegetables, including snapbeans, squash and all kinds of greens, are being gathered but they can be found in fertile spots in fields. There are probably more Irish potatoes planted for home use this season than normally. Citizens of North Carolina are responding to the call for more food. This is also indicated in the effort made to grow feed for the dairy cattle, poultry and beef cattle.

The demand for fencing material is increasing steadily indicating an increased popularity for chickens and cows. The one-strand electrical fences are to be seen wherever there are rural power lines and farmers seem to be learning that it is more economical to let the animals harvest their feed than it is to haul it to them at the barns.

One encouraging sign noted in all of this farm work is that operators are employing all the farm machinery that they can get and are otherwise saving labor through increased skill in performing the various jobs. The idea seems to be to make every “lock” count.

A number of men who have had low wet places in the middle of good fields have removed these obstacles to good farming by simply blasting out drainage ditches through the use of dynamite. In Lee County the other day, C.M. Rosse and C.P. Bradley drained six acres by this means and are pleased with the results. It would have taken them several days to have drained the area using the ordinary methods of shovel and spade even had the labor been available.

O.P. Moxley of Peden in Alleghany County had an excellent concrete trench silo about 20 feet long and over 8 feet deep. He found that when he opened his silo for feeding last winter that he could not feed enough of the silage at one time to keep the material from spoiling. So he has remedied the situation this season by simply building two concrete partitions which in effect give him three small upright silos. He is feeding from the top and opens one of the uprights at a time. A door in each partition makes feeding more convenient after the first silo has been emptied. Mr. Moxley says it pays to study a situation, size it up, and then take such action as will save steps later.

Roy Goodman, farm agent of Cabarrus County, tells us an interesting story about J.L. Patterson of Concord, Route 3, who lost about 50 tons of good hay last season because of unfavorable weather conditions at curing time. Nothing discourages a farmer so much, Roy says, as to have a fine crop of hay lying on the ground day after day with spring rains making it impossible to cure and house it. Not only does the hay lose color but it also loses much of its feeding value.

Mr. Patterson, therefore, decided that he would install a hay drying system in his barn loft. Farm Agent Goodman secured the aid of C.C. McCaslan, extension engineer at State College, and they laid out the system in Mr. Patterson’s 36 by 60-foot barn loft. Builders paper was placed on the original plank floor. Then a tight floor was laid over this. A shelter was built for the fan and motor and the air ducts were built to lead into the barn. From these main air ducts, lateral ducts were placed each five feet and the entire system was ready by mid-April.

Thinking the whole thing was ready, Mr. Patterson cut 10 acres of good alfalfa, and made plans for putting it in the barn. He found then that his small 5 horsepower motor was not large enough to operate the fan as it should be but he did have a fuel power unit connected with his woodsaw and hay baler so this was transferred to the barn loft and connected with the fan. Mr. Patterson took care to run the exhaust pipe to the outside so as to eliminate any chances of fire and then he began to haul in the hay from his 10 acres of alfalfa. The hay was spread out over the drying ducts to about 3 or 4 feet deep all over the loft floor. The next morning, hay from seven more acres was added and then it rained. But 7 more acres and then 6 other acres were added until the whole barn was covered to a depth of about 7 feet. Some changes were suggested later by which the depth could be increases to 9 feet of hay at one time. But the beauty of the whole thing is that the hay drier works. It has saved cattle feed that might have been ruined by the incessant spring rains, and Mr. Patterson is so pleased that he has made plans to install another unit to take care of his large commercial hay production.

Plans also are under way to put in such a hay drying unit at the Jackson Training School farm, and other smaller farmers will install units as the need for livestock feed increases. It again adds up to the fact that North Carolina farmers are steadily and surely adding labor-saving machinery as they can get it so as to make their labor pay the biggest possible dividends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Extension Editor to Speak at Home Demonstration Clubs Picnic, 1949

Sanford Herald, June 20, 1949

Plans have been completed for the annual county-wide picnic to be held Friday evening, July 24, by the Lee County Home Demonstration Clubs at the exhibit hall at the Lions Fair Ground, Miss Julia Alexander, Lee home agent announces.

A picnic supper will be spread on long tables in the hall at 6 o’clock.

Following supper at around 7 o’clock a program will be presented. Frank Jeter of Raleigh, State Extension Editor, will be the principal speaker.

Various clubs will then present events in the talent show. Prizes will be awarded the club having the best talent. Judges will be local townspeople.

Mrs. John Parrish, president of the Lee County Federation of Home Demonstration Clubs, will preside and give the welcome. She will also recognize the special guests.

All Home Demonstration Clubs in the county and their families are invited and urged to attend. The complete program will be announced Thursday.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cleveland County Ag. Report, June 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 13, 1949

The folks in Cleveland always set great store by their crops of small grain. Two important meetings were held at the outstanding fields, where grain grown by Lee McDaniels of the Bethlehem community and Lloyd Wilson of the Fallston section was inspected. More than 150 neighbors gathered at the McDaniel farm to study the different methods of fertilizing small grain along with the proper seed bed preparation, time of seeding, different varieties, and the results of applying top-dressing material at different times.

The North Carolina Crop Improvement Association is conducting an official variety test in co-operation with Lloyd Wilson. About 75 men gathered to see the difference in yields by the several strains and varieties planted by Mr. Wilson. The growers say that weeds are becoming an increasing menace to grain growing in that area. Many of those who grow small grain on the same field, year after year, find that the weeds almost choke out the growth in a year or so. Particularly do they have trouble with the ragged robin. Some have just about discontinued the production of wheat on their farms because of this weed trouble.

The work of reclaiming good land through the use of dynamite blasting gained headway this season. Over 175 of his neighbors gathered in early May at the farm of C.B. Austell who had a good piece of rich bottom land completely unusable because of poor drainage. Mr. Austell blew a ditch 2,000 feet long and said that this one ditch has reclaimed some of the most fertile land on his farm.

Many of his neighbors have similar situations. C.C. Falls of Lawndale, Route 3, had to blow three ditches to reclaim some rich bottom land standing covered with water. He used 10 sticks of dynamite but said the results were worth the expense.

Paul Davis and A.T. Randle of the Stone Point community have used the blasting method to reclaim good land needing drainage on their farms. Mr. Davis blew a ditch 375 feet long to reclaim a field that was useless to him because the water would stand on it after a rain.

All the liverstock in Cleveland County has benefitted from the fine pastures. Ted Ledford of Kings Mountain, Route 2, in the Midway section of the county, says that ladino clover and orchard grass can be more than a pasture. He owns about 30 acres of improved pasture but the clover and grass grew so fast this spring that he cows could not keep up with it. So when he saw the orchard grass with 40 inches high and the clover covering the whole earth to a depth of 15 inches, despite his cows grazing there, he very promptly brought out his tractor and mowing machine and converted this extra growth into hay. In his opinion, this 30-acre field is one of the most profitable spots on the farm and he suggests to all Ladino planters that they keep their growth under control so the clover will not die out.

Several farmers are using fescue grass with the Ladino, and Tom Cornwell of Shelby, Route 1, says it is about the best grass that he has ever had on his farm. Paul and Dewey Hawkins seeded five acres of fescue in the fall of 1947, and they say it’s a real help to beef cattle. Two years ago, only four or five men had any fescue, but now it is being grown in all parts of the county. Those who have it say they can begin grazing by March 1, which is early for that section.

While sod crops aid with livestock production and also help to keep the land from washing, Cleveland is still a cotton growing county, one of the best in the state. They made about 63,000 bales on 63,000 acres [mistake in one of the numbers?] last year. When cotton is grown on that rolling countryside, there is some erosion. Most of the farms were already well terraced but much additional terracing was done this year before the cotton crop was planted.

K.W. Carroll of Kings Mountain, Route 1, terraced 40 acres of cotton land; Robert Blanton of Shelby, Route 4, terraced 70 acres; and quite a bit of terracing was done by Gus Evans of Shelby; R.H. Bridges, Shelby, Route 4; and C.C. Owens of Shelby, Route 4.

Cow owners of the county have learned by experience that horns on their milk cows are just as serious as cotton land without terraces. Cows with horns do not permit their herd members to eat in peace, especially when the animals are placed in the lounging barn. Cows with horns are also dangerous to those handling them. So, there was much dehorning throughout the county before the hot weather set in. H.R. Early of Lattimore, Star Route, finished dehorning the remainder of his herd, and all the animals with horns on the farms of Ray Wilson, Ed Carroll, Henry Bingham, and Harold B. Dellinger of the Fallston community were dehorned.

The quality of dairy cattle in the county may be seen by the fact that J.C. Randle of Kings Mountain, Route 2, sold one of his Guernsey bulls to the Southeastern Artificial Breeding Association at Asheville. This animal is one of the best in the state, with a record of high producing daughters. Mr. Randle has 100 acres of cleared land on his farm, with 27 acres in seeded pasture.

Twelve grade “A” dairy barns were built in ClevelandCounty as the price for processing milk began to decline. Noah Pruett of Casar, Route 1, has a nice herd of Jersey cows and an excellent Ladino pasture. Dairying suits and rolling land of his farm and with the aid of temporary grazing crops, he can produce milk just about as economically as the next man. He is, therefore, getting fixed to stay in the dairy business from now on and will sell only the premium grade “A” product.

Paul Herman of Kings Mountain, Route 2, is building a grade “A” barn for his Jersey herd. He added a metal silo in 1948 and has excellent pastures. Grady Hamrick of Boiling Springs, another enthusiastic Jersey breeder, has just completed a grade “A” barn to be used in connection with the good pastures which he seeded last fall.

Nearly all of these Cleveland dairymen have alfalfa for hay along with the pastures, and many of them are seeding more acres to the hay crop as they add cows. It takes good hay for roughage as well as good grazing to produce milk economically. Plenty of good roughage helps to control bloat when the pastures are lush with spring growth.

Friday, June 8, 2012

12 Cleveland County Farmers Compete, 1949

By F. H. Jeter, Editor, Agricultural Extension Service, N.C. State College, as published in the Charlotte Observer, June 13, 1949

One of 12 good farmers in Cleveland County will be wealthier by $1,000 cash this fall. County Agent Ben Jenkins says that the Agricultural Council has set up a score of ideal farm and home practices, adapted to Cleveland farms and homes, and the family which comes more nearly to actually working out the plan as suggested will get $1,000 cash as a prize.

The prize is offered by J.S. Dorton and the Cleveland County Fair. It is another attempt to call attention to good farming and good rural living. Those who are to judge the contest made a trip to the various farms in early May. This fall, the judges will go again and see what has happened. It’s something new in farm and home contests and the results should be of much interest.

The business interests of Shelby and Cleveland County are continually doing something to stimulate better farming practices in that section. The Shelby Rotary Club placed 14 heifer calves with as many selected young folks three years ago, and since that time Joyce Williams, Robert Cabiness, and Charles Cabiness, all of Lattimore; Robert Crotts of Polkville; and John R. Dellinger of Belwood have grown out and passed on to other 4-H Club members heifer calves from these original animals. Anna Mintz of Polkville has a heifer calf now that will be ready to turn in to the club in about five months so that she may discharge her obligation to the Rotary Club. The other seven young people haven’t been so fortunate and cannot yet discharge their obligations.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Farmers' Report, 1956

From the “Around the State” column in the June 1956 issue of North Carolina’s Extension Farm-News

Harold Bailey of the Bailey Branch community has a grade beef cow that is doing her part to increase the cow population. Madison County Assistant Agent Robert W. Miller says that Bailey’s cow produced four heifer calves in 11 months—two consecutive sets of two heifers. “Old Boss” is now ready to calve again and the Baileys are hoping she’ll keep her batting average high.

J.L. Evans of Jakesville community, Lexington, Route 8, hopes that people using his fish pond confine themselves to catching fish from now on. Assistant County Agent W.W. Johnson says that one day recently, Evans discovered that one of his calves was firmly caught in the mouth with a Hulla Popper Plug. Evidently, an unlucky fisherman had thrown his plug up on the bank of the bond. Although it didn’t appeal to the fish, it looked like a nice, juicy morsel to the calf.

Joe Kissam of Evergreen, Route 1, needed an attachment for his tractor that would break up some land which had been packed tight by six inches of rain. He found the tool, but didn’t have the $60 needed to buy it. Columbus County Agent Charles D. Raper says that Kissam’s native ingenuity then came in handy. Kissam found an old horse-drawn disk harrow and went to work. With some other odds and ends, he soon welded together an implement which did an excellent job.

It may sound like he’s dreaming, but Coy Surrette of the Penrose community says he has found a cash crop that requires very little labor and has no disease or marketing problems. Transylvania County Assistant Agent William M. Garmon says that Surette is high in his praise of bell pepper. Surrette grew the pepper community last year for the first time. He started with one-half acre, but this year he’s planning to expand it to two acres.

Julius Campbell, Cleveland County farmer, has found there are “just strawberries” and there are Albritton and Pocahonas strawberries. Assistant County Agent H.W. Dameron says that Campbell’s “just strawberries” were late and small this year. Aftger being shown some Albritons, he remarked that he was “fooling with marbles and these are golf balls!”

F.E. Holloman of Murfreesboro community believes in making the most of his hay. Hertford County Assistant Agent P.E. Parker Jr. says that Holloman uses hay stored in the barn to brood his baby chicks. He sections off a portion of the barn with bales of hay. As the chicks get larger, he builds the “fence” higher by adding more bales.

John Piland began his duties as district Extension agent in the eastern district on June 1. Piland will supervise county agents’ work in 16 counties. His headquarters will be at State College in Raleigh. A native of Northampton County, he is a 1939 graduate of State College. He served as FHA supervisor in Warren County from 1939 to 1942, was assistant county agent in Johnston from 1944 to 1947; and county agent from 1947 to the present. He is married and has four children. Piland replaces C.S. Mintz, who transferred to the district agent’s post in the southeast, which became vacant upon the retirement of C.M. Brickhouse, June 1.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

In Praise of the Home Agent and Her Home Demonstration Club Women, 1945

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Wilmington Star, June 5, 1944

One of the marvels of North Carolina rural life is the home demonstration agent. For the past few weeks, I have been going about in the state attending district federation meetings held by the organization Home Demonstration Club Women of North Carolina. These interesting visits have taken me east and west and, in each case, the rural women of five or six counties meet together to discuss the affairs of the clubs, to report what was accomplished during the year, and to make plans for the future.

County reports are made at each district gathering, and to hear these reports is to learn how North Carolina is advancing to preeminence upon the unselfish work of her home demonstration club women and the county home demonstration agent.

I have never fathomed what secret source of strength these home agents are able to draw upon. They work day after day with their club women, the 4-H Club girls, and all others who call upon them for suggestions or aid in their rural problems.

The home agents take the cold, hard facts of the technical bulletin and turn the facts into attractive foods, well-fitting clothes, or beautified homes. Not only do they work many hours during the day but they are always ready to visit some private home upon request to aid the mother or homemaker with her special problem.

If this be not enough, she then attends an evening meeting at a remote schoolhouse or community center and should the program prove not so attractive, she must be the life of the party and lead the group in recreational events.

These home agents have an almost sacrificial zeal for their jobs. This is revealed in the reports which the club women make at their district meetings. Not only to the reports tell of food produced and saved, of homes rearranged and beautified, of clothes made or remodeled, and good things to eat prepared and sold at the curb market; but they likewise tell of things done for the community and the county.

Home demonstration clubs have about taken over the Red Cross work out in the country districts; War Bond drives are centered about their local clubs; fats, metal and paper are saved and delivered largely through the influence of the home demonstration club; and many of the boys in nearby Army hospitals have been cheered through the work of the home demonstration club women.

The farm agent and his associates deal with the hard, cold facts of production and marketing; the home agent and her club women deal with the human aspects of rural life, and because these women are progressive, the often cause their hardheaded husbands to continue to make progress over and above what they had originally intended. I do not hesitate to say that much of the North Carolina farming progress in recent years has been due to the work of the home demonstration club women.

That organization has kept its ideals and has added much technical knowledge. Right now, the club women have an over-all blanket or unified plan of work for the entire state.

The plan for this year was made, for instance, when 15 agents representing the various sections of North Carolina were called to Miss Current’s office to meet with the trained specialists and design a plan for 1944.

Before coming to the college, however, the agents talked over the whole matter with their local club women, their neighborhood leaders, and with all who might be interested. Then when the plan was finally agreed upon in the state office, it was carried back to the county and adopted there.

As a result of this careful understanding, one agent may be transferred to another county and still be able to pick up the details of the organization in that new county and go right to work. As a matter of fact, the trained leaders in the several counties are helping the agent with her demonstrations so that this worker is free to contact other women not yet within the club membership.

Miss Current and her home agents have at least 12,000 women now who aid the home agents as project leaders. One woman may have charge of all the garden work in her club while another is the nutrition leader in an adjoining club. These project leaders are holding at least four of the 12 monthly club meetings scheduled for the year, which means that the home agent can greatly enlarge her work. The women say that 32,488 farm families were reached for the first time in home demonstration work this past year.

It is interesting to note that there is now a home agent in each county of the state. In these counties are 1,523 organized clubs with an active membership of 37,579 women. However, it is not the main purpose of home demonstration work to reach only these women but to build the entire program around the farm family as a unit. Much of the work being done now is not aimed at the farm woman alone but at her whole family and with emphasis on the boy and girl.

This is why I know that much of the agricultural progress being made in North Carolina is based on the work being done by these women. Because they need food for canning, food must be produced on the farm; because the women study better nutrition, more different kinds of foods must be grown; because they study food conservation, storage closets must be built; and because they insist on better family health, milk and butter and other protective food products are added. I would not insist that the farming progress we are making is because of these women, but they are certainly their influence is being felt.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

N.C. State Professor Dies Unexpectedly, 1956

From the June 1956 issue of North Carolina’s Extension Farm-News

A long life of active service to North Carolina Agriculture was ended July 18 with the unexpected death of E.B. Morrow, professor of horticulture at N.C. State College.

A heart attack was the cause of death.

Morrow spent many productive years working to develop new and better varieties of strawberries and blueberries. Among those he developed are the Massey and Albritton strawberries, which are used extensively by commercial growers. He also developed the Wolcott, Murphey, Angola, and Ivanhoe blueberry varieties, which have meant much to growers of this crop.

After graduation from N.C. State College in 1921, he received B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of California, the latter in 1924.

From 1924 to 1925, he was an assistant in statistics in the N.C. Department of Agriculture. He worked with the Extension Service for 11 years as a horticulturist, after which he began his work with the Experiment Station. He has written several publications on his research findings.

He has contributed many articles to American Society of Horticultural Science, which have been published in their annual proceedings.

Morrow was born in Rowan County March 22, 1896, and was married to the former Miss Anne Peay. He was a member of the American Society for Horticultural Science and Sigma Xi.

Surviving are his wife, his mother, Mrs. Tom Morrow of Cleveland, N.C.; four brothers, Fred W. Morrow and J. Mack Morrow, both of Mooresville, and A.R. Morrow of Charlotte, and Thomas A. Morrow of Cleveland, N.C.; four sisters, Mrs. W.W. Lentz of High Point, Mrs. Carl Cook of Statesville, and Mrs. F.S. Sloan, and Mrs. J.A. Shackford, both of Raleigh.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Let Cows Gather Own Feed, Says Gaston Farmer, 1949

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer on June 9, 1949.

The farmers of Gaston County boast of their wonderful new pastures. They also boast of the grazing crops they had all last winter.

A good example is a five-acre field seeded by M.B. Jenkins of Gastonia, Route 1. He fertilized the tract with 500 pounds per acre of a 4-10-6 at seeding time last September. He planted two bushels of oats, two bushels of barley, 40 pounds of Italian ryegrass, and 12 pounds crimson clover seed per acre. That was a heavy seeding and a right good fertilization, but the grazing was something to talk about.

Mr. Jenkins kept 25 cows on the five acres during the winter. This spring, after it has been fairly well grazed down, he top-dressed the field with 150 pounds of nitrate of soda and a good coating of manure. This brought it back as good spring grazing, which lasted until the cows were ready to go on the permanent pasture of Ladino clover and fescue. The only way to make money with dairy cows, Mr. Jenkins says, is to let them gather their own feed and to have plenty of it for them. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Watauga and Ashe County Farmers, 1948

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer June 28, 1948

For the dollar invested, sheep pay better, perhaps, than any other kind of livestock. At least, that’s the very decided opinion of those sturdy mountain farmers up in Watauga and Ashe counties. In Watauga, some of the sheep growers own native ewes; others have purchased the hardy western ewes brought in during recent years. Some of the men give their sheep the best of attention, while others let them wrestle largely for themselves.

But however the sheep are handled, Watauga farmers say that each ewe in their small farm flocks paid them a net cash return last year of $27.13 per animal. That’s a good investment. They look for as equally good returns this year because the Northwest has one of its finest lamb crops.

Sixteen Watauga farmers kept careful records on their sheep flocks and report that these flocks averaged 21 old ewes with about 2.3 young ewe replacements. Each flock averaged raising 25.8 lambs and these were sold in the county lamb pool for $512.90 per clock, or $20.11 each. The ewes averaged shearing out 147.7 pounds of wool per flock and this wool was sold in the pool for $75.20. So the gross return for each of these 16 flocks of sheep wads $588.47 from the sale of wool and lambs, or $27.13 per ewe. The average feed cost for one ewe for the year amounted to $7.76 so the net labor income from the sheep was $19.37 per head.

It also pays to have purebred sheep, just as it pays to have high class livestock of any other kind. For instance, J.W. Norris is said to be about the best breeder of Hampshire sheep in Watauga County. Mr. Norris has one old ewe, now 11 years of age, that is a wonder. She descends from good blood, and she has proven it in production. During her 11 years, this ewe has produced eight sets of twin lambs. The best part about these lambs, from Mr. Norris’ standpoint, is that 13 of them were males and he sold them for purebred breeding stock to his neighbors at good prices.
Sheep growing is not alone in farming enterprise for the adult farmers of that section. Some of the best shepherds are the young farm boys who are enrolled in the 4-H Clubs. Among those having nice lambs now about ready for sale are Douglas Clawson, Alvin Norris, Johnny Norris, Eddie Paul Norris, Phil Farthing, Vance Vines, Joe Perry, Baker Edmisten, Bob Wilson, and Clint Reese.

This Clint Reese, by the way, will represent North Carolina at the National 4-H Club Congress this fall. He and Walter Jones of Sparta, Alleghany County, were chosen recently in a sheep shearing contest held at the Mountain Branch Experiment Station by Leland Case as the champions among all those competing. Clint is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Asa L. Reese of the Reese community in Watauga County. Clint and Walter nosed out Ben Norris, also of the Reese community, in an overtime contest. Orvill Hendrix of Laurel Springs was fourth, and Bob Wilson, fifth.

As the saying goes, these boys certainly made the wool fly as they competed for this Chicago trip.

Some of the men say that it pays to have lambs dropped early in January and February but there are just as many who maintain that they lose too many lambs at this early date and have to feed them too much grain, so they want their lambs to come in April. These later lambs are largely fed on pasture, with just a bit of grain supplied in creep feeding. But the early lambs, like early pullets, seem to be the ones which bring the most money per unit, and so the argument is not yet settled.

At any rate, say the growers, no man ever grew sheep and went in debt on the flock. They always pay their way, if the ewes are drenched and the lambs are properly managed. Sometimes a stray mongrel dog may cause a loss but this does not happen so often where the sheep are brought in at night.

W.W. Wilson kept careful records on a new type of sheep operation last summer. In a lamb pool held last summer on July 14 at Boone, Mr. Wilson bought 26 ordinary medium-grade ewes and wether lambs.

They were all just average lambs—nothing choice. He fed them until the last pool on September 5 and says that, during the period of 7 ½ weeks, the 26 lambs gained 373 pounds or 14.3 pounds per lamb. When he sold them in September, four lambs graded “choice” and brought him $104.66; 17 graded “good” and brought him $342, and five graded “medium” and brought $63.90. The whole 26 were sold for a total of $510.58 and cost him only $322.49. However, he had to add in the expense of trucking and the feed cost which brought up his cash outlay to a total of $382.15, or $14.69 a head. The lambs sold for $510.58, or $19.63 per head, giving Mr. Wilson a nice little income of $128.43 or $4.93 a head net profit for his labor.

One reason why the lambs gained so fast, however, and were so nicely finished at the end of the seven-week feeding period is that they were placed on a Ladino pasture. Then Mr. Wilson added a grain mixture consisting of three parts yellow corn, two parts ground oats, and one part cottonseed meal. But he had the facilities for handling the lambs, so he made a nice profit from the venture.

W.E. Eggers, also of Watauga County, own 15 ewes from which he raised 19 lambs. He sold the 19 lambs and the wool from the ewes for a total of $413.15, or a net profit of $29.10 per ewe above feed cost. He adds his comment that sheep will make more money for him than any other kind of livestock—for the money invested in them.

Agreeing with him is Henry Taylor, another Watauga sheep grower. Mr. Taylor owns 24 ewes and raised 26 lambs. He sold 23 of the lambs and 147 pounds of wool sheared from the old ewes for a total of $609.47. Subtracting the feed costs, each of his ewes returned him a profit of $25.35.

But as L.E. Tuckwiller, Watauga County Agent, points out, such high profits per ewe means that the sheep are on clean pasture, that the lambs have been properly managed, and that the old sheep are drenched at least twice in summer to control internal parasites.

Marshall Farthing of the Valle Mountain section of Watauga says he uses his ewes to eat up the old cabbage stalks left from cutting his mountain cabbage each fall. Last year he had an income of $426.96 from the flock of only 14 ewes, two of which were replacement lambs The 14 ewes raised 20 lambs that sold for $373 and then the old ewes sheared 104 pounds of wool, which brought $53.96. This is a gross return of $30.49 per ewe. But Mr. Farthing says that his feed cost was low because he had to supply very little grain. The lambs were dropped in April, placed on pasture, and were sold in the October pool. The ewes had been over-wintered on his cabbage field and in the hay meadow. Mr. Farthing says that the ewes relish the residue in the cabbage fields and meet the cold weather plump and fat. He figures that his net labor income from the 14 ewes amounted to an average of $25 per animal.

Never get the idea that Watauga farmers are interested in sheep alone. That’s great cattle country as well. Some very fine herds of Hereford beef cattle are found there, and people from all over North Carolina go up there to buy feeder calves. The farmers have a Watauga Hereford Breeders Association and hold annual sales and shows. A lot of new Guernsey dairy cows are going into the county also. Most of them are grades, as yet, but the quality is improving steadily and good pastures are being prepared.

D.F. Greene says his grade Guernseys have been producing at the rate of 8,000 pounds of milk a year, according to his sales on the local milk route. He and his son have only a small herd and are using the facilities of the artificial breeding association to improve the quality of the cows. Bobby Nichols of Deep Gap has secured a purebred Guernsey heifer of Quail Roost breeding and is starting a Guernsey herd from this one cow. W.W. Mast and Scott Swift have both added new Guernseys to their herds. Four new grade “A” milking barns have just been built.

Like farmers in other counties, those in Watauga are conducting corn-growing contests The local Farm Bureau is providing $100 in cash prizes for the three top acre yields.

They also are keeping bees and setting out seedling trees. During last March, for instance, Watauga farmers set 21,000 white pines, 3,500 yellow poplars, 300 black walnuts, and 50 black locusts. They believe that the reforestation of their steeper slopes is one of the most important jobs ahead of them in future years.

Bee colonies are being added and a few men with plenty of hand labor available in their families are growing the little one-fourth acre plots of Turkish tobacco.

There is much home beautification work going on with the farm families landscaping their yards largely through the use of mountain shrubs which grow in such profusion all through that area.

Watauga is not the only county in that section where progress is being made in livestock farming. H.D. Quessenberry, county agent, says that the Ashe County folk grow staple crops like corn, grain and hay along with late truck crops and then they have poultry, beef cattle and sheep to supplement his truck crop income and finds that both pay him well. It is his belief that no man should try to keep cattle in that section, however, without having plenty of silage. Winter grazing is not so dependable due to the severity of the cold, freezing weather; but every man can have silage in winter even if he has to depend on a trench dug in the side of a hill.

R.B. Brown of Todd has just completed a grade “A” barn and concrete silo and has made a start with Holstein cattle. Mr. Brown says that two Guernseys and two Jerseys keep the milk test above 4 per cent while the Holsteins fill the can. Ladino clover and fescue are being used widely for pastures, and many small plots of alfalfa have been seeded. Joe Davis of Laurel Springs says the fescue works well with Ladino and is providing the best of grazing. J.R. Phipps of Silas Creek has eight acres of alfalfa that he says saves him money in feeding the cows on his grade “A” dairy farm.

Ashe County growers report a good crop of both apples and cherries. Apples are plentiful and the cherries were killed only in the lower places. F.N. Colvard of Jefferson says the new Oakview cabbage, which he is growing this year, is ideal for the late market. He sets the plants in rows 34 inches apart and on the row. The crop is fertilized with a ton of 3-8-6 per acre, and this gives him a nice, firm head weighing from 3 to 5 pounds within 100 days of setting the plants. Most of the cabbage is ready for the market, that is for cutting, at the same time, thus giving him the best possible returns.

Sheep also pay well in Ashe. Betty Lou Thomas and her brother, Joe, of Grassy Creek have saved $1,900 from their baby beeves and lambs in the past two years and are putting the money away for their college education. The lamb crop in Ashe County this year is above the average, and the young people entered quite a few in the big Tri-County Lamb Show held in Boone early in June, when 75 lambs from Alleghany, Watauga, and Ashe competed for quality honors.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Gaston County Rural Women Have Place of Their Own, 1949

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, as published in the Charlotte Observer on June 9, 1949.

When the farm women of Gaston County come to town on a shopping trip, they have a convenient place of their own in which to rest and store their packages. More than that, they have a place where they may have all of their county-wide meetings, their banquets or their recreational events. It is a place where they meet for appointments; where they find good books to read, or leave the baby until they go to the dentist’s office. It’s a beautiful, restful place with harmonizing colors, comfortable chairs, a refrigerator and an electric stove. It’s easy to keep the milk cool or to warm it if the children need a lunch while mother is in town.

This place was an old garage back of the jail in Gastonia. Now it’s the Home Demonstration Center, or the club home for hundreds of Gaston farm women. The old garage was turned over to the women by the county commissioners three years ago and Miss Lucile Tatum, Gaston home agent, says the home demonstration members have been trying to do something with it since that time. Now it is a credit to any woman’s club in any small town in North Carolina. The garage has been converted into one large assembly room where four centers have been equipped for food preparation, serving, a living room and a reading room. Screens are used to separate the four centers and the equipment in each one is so placed and the color schemes so tied together that the four centers can be thrown into one large space for demonstrations, banquets, or any kind of general gathering.

The center is used for many of the meetings held by the county federation clubs, but the women say it’s greatest value to them is as a headquarters when they come to town. A full-time hostess is on duty at all times being employed jointly by the Gaston County Board of Commissioners and the home demonstration clubwomen. The women pay $360 a year for this service.

Right next to this one big room is a smaller one, 20 by 15 feet in size, which has been converted into a comfortable lounge room. One corner is the nursery, and this nursery opens out into an enclosure equipped as a play area. Here the small children can be kept comfortable and without danger of straying or being hurt in some accident.

Miss Tatum says this nice place did not come of itself. The commissioners gave the old garage to the women after the club members were forced to give up their upstairs headquarters by reason of high rents. High prices, war demands and other things kept them from making the garage over into the place they had planned. But last year, the women were able to go ahead and they received the cordial support of the county commissioners. The color used in the decorations and the fixtures selected with those agreed upon by the women. The old building was insulated and a ceiling added. The concrete floor was covered with rubber tile and the walls were plastered and painted.

The clubwomen raised and used $585 in improvements and equipment in 1947, and another $422 in 1948. They will tell you that raising this $1,000 was no easy task but they did it.

When the new building had been completely renovated and made into a home center for the farmwomen, they all gathered there last November for their annual achievement day. The presidents of the 21 local clubs acted as hostesses. They took charge of the activities. They pointed with price to color harmony in the furnishings, to the two electric stoves, the electric refrigerator, the big freezing unit, the well-equipped kitchen, and the facilities for feeding as many as 50 people at one time. The hostesses carried their visitors back into the comfortable lounging room to see the day bed, the baby bed, the rest rooms. They tried out the piano and the radio record player. The main room is 27 feet by 40 feet and the small room is 5 by 20 feet, and every foot is comfortably utilized. One of the men visitors on that opening day said it was surprising what had been done and he added, “We should have had all this long ago.”

This home center has a parking space for six cars. This convenience is doubly appreciated by farm women who come to town to shop or to visit the doctor. The center is the regular meeting place for the county council and for all committee meetings of the 4-H Club members and the farm women organizations. It contains a storehouse and a file of information. Special Gaston County recipes are kept on file, there is a file of recreational material, a complete set of bulletins and circulars dealing with the farm home, a set of encyclopedias and other good books. Much property accumulated by the county federation is stored there and may be borrowed for special occasions. Some of the popular items much used by the women are the dress patterns, a big punch bowl, the 100 cups and dishes and silver, the card tables, and a dehydrator. The latest item to be used by the women is a little space in the freezer unit.

The women had a grand occasion at this center last Christmas. The whole place was beautifully arranged, both inside and out, as a demonstration in holiday decorations for the rural home. Mantel arrangements, dining room table decorations, and decorations which the children could make for the home were some of the unique ideas expressed. It was used also as a center for pre-Christmas sale, and 75 lunches were served on the day of the sale.

Miss Tatum says the women have been working towards having this center for about 12 years. The first meeting on the subject was held at the first center in May 1937. This temporary place was a small space assigned to the women in a county-owned building. Since then the women have been making their plans for the kind of home they have today. They believe the present results are worth all the time, effort and money that they have put into it.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Cerro Gordo High School Graduation, 1949

Published in the Whiteville Reporter, June 6, 1949

Beatryce Godwin Is Valdictorian and Virginia Strickland is Salutatorian; 16 Graduated

CERRO GORDO--Dr. Frank H. Jeter of State College, Raleigh, addressed the graduating class of Cerro Gordo High School here Friday evening as diplomas were presented to 16 boys and girls.

Special music for the occasion was furnished by the local band and Glee Club.

President Beatryce Godwin presented the class gift—a donation to the stage curtain fund—to the school.
Nine of the 16 graduates were awarded the gold seal of the National Beta Club.

Class night exercises were held Thursday evening. The seniors marched into the auditorium led by Mascots Julia Nance and Layton Harrelson. They received friendship chairs from the junior class, which sang a song of presentation. This was followed by a song of acceptance.

The exercises were presented in the form of a park reunion in 1959. Virginia Strickland gave the salutatory. Other highlights of the program were: prophecy, Rosalyn Worley; history, class progress of the school, Mable Purvis; class poem, Vivian Hammond; last will and testament, Elizabeth H. Floyd; and giftorian, Nellie May Strickland. The program was concluded with the valedictory address by Beatryce Godwin.

The following medals were presented by Principal J.C. Whedbee Jr.: valedictorian, Beatryce Godwin; salutatorian, Virginia Strickland; best all-around boy, Hybert Williamson; best all-around girl, Vivian Hammond; boy athlete, Edgar Hammond; girl athlete, Elizabeth H. Floyd; and leadership, Ethelle Strickland.